The Ants of Africa
Genus Pheidole
Pheidole aeberlii Forel

variolosa-group - head with restricted frontal striations and parallel-sided

Pheidole aeberlii Forel

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Senegal (Pheidole Aeberlii, n. spec., Forel, 1894b: 91, major, minor & male) collected in "Upper Senegal" - see below; major, minor & male described (see Bolton, 1995) .

{Pheidole aeberlii}Forel's (1894b) description is at {original description}.

Note: With fresh specimens, I have raised the former variety (subspecies of Bolton, 1995) Pheidole erythraea to full species status. For distinguishing characters see that species page and the keys.

Wheeler (1922) listed a second Senegal finding at Thiès (F. Silvestri) and noted it from Sudan (Omdurman, I Trägårdh). The latter perhaps was P. erythraea.

Clearly a savannah species.

Santschi (1930a: 61), described Pheidole andrieui by comparison with aeberlii and gave a drawing of the heads of the major and minor workers worker (right).

Pheidole aeberlii majorThe photomontage of the type major worker is collated from

Although this and the minor below are labelled aeberlii the major head does not match the Santschi illustration, although the minor is similar. Forel gave the major colour as reddish-brown (yellowish-brownish) with the gaster, scape and femora dark brown.  In his description of the smaller Pheidole aeberlii var. erythraea (which I have separated as P. erythraea), Emery (1901a: 61), noting advice from Forel, had the propodeal spines as acute (obtuse in the type).

{Pheidole aeberlii minor}The photomontage of a syntype minor worker is collated from This appears to match the Forel description, including colour brown, alitrunk reddish brown, antennae, mandibles and legs yellowish-brown.

{Pheidole speculifera} Wheeler (1922: ) gave the drawing (right) of "speculifera" but no details other than the size of the major in the drawing as being smaller (TL ca 6 mm) than cubangensis (TL 7 mm). With the type images of both aerberlii (above) and P. speculifera, the Wheeler drawing clearly is aeberlii.

Oxford University Museum specimens

Pheidole aeberlii
B Taylor det.
Lamine Diamé
V 40
minor worker
tube 03
Pheidole aeberlii
B Taylor det.
A Fotso Kuate
Pheidole speculifera
Awae II
03°54'30" N
11°25'58" E
Tuna bait in fallow

{Pheidole aeberlii major}The photomontage is of a major from Cameroun; Awae II; collector A Fotso Kuate (fk pheidole speculifera). Morphologically a near exact match for the Wheeler drawing (above)

{Pheidole aeberlii minor}The photomontage is of a worker from Senegal; Thiés;; collector Lamine Diamé (11).

© 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018 - Brian Taylor CBiol FRSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.